If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know I get downright giddy over American Express‘ Small Business Saturday. It just makes me happy that a Fortune 100 company is promoting the efforts of all of the wonderful small businesses that are doing so much to drive our economy forward. So happy, in fact, that I’ve already mapped out where I’m going to shop on Saturday, and am planning my Holiday list accordingly. American Express has sponsored a site — called ShopSmall — so that you can map out your Saturday shopping as well.
Small Business Saturday was founded in 2010 when American Express decided that they wanted to do something to support small businesses, and to help them get a larger share of the dollars spent during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. In the second year (2011), over 100 million shoppers came out and shopped at independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday. Every year, American Express plans new tools and promotions for the SMB sector to use to more effectively promote their businesses and to take part in the annual event.
As consumers who shop at small businesses on November 24th, as long as you enroll your American Express credit card, you will also receive a $25 statement credit when you spend more than $25 at a registered small business (details on how to do this are included in the FAQ section of the ShopSmall website). So, you’re supporting the business and you get a $25 credit! Pretty cool stuff.
For small businesses, American Express is offering free online advertising, marketing materials and ideas on how to promote yourselves to get more people through the door. Small businesses also have an opportunity to learn from other businesses who have taken part in Small Business Saturday in prior years.
Why is this so important? American Express sports a great infographic on the website that provides some very interesting statistics on the importance of small businesses to the US economy:
- Small businesses pay 44% of the private payroll in the US.
- 89% of consumers state that they believe that small business plays a positive role in their communities.
- Small business created 65% of the net new jobs in the US in the 17 year period ending in 2009.
So, get out there this coming Saturday and support your local small businesses! And kudos to American Express for making this a Thanksgiving holiday weekend tradition! You can comment on this or follow on Twitter at #smallbizsat.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!